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Louisiana DWI First Offense: Guide To DWI Laws In Louisiana

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Louisiana DWI First Offense: Guide To DWI Laws In Louisiana

Louisiana DWI First Offense: Guide To DWI Laws In Louisiana

You should know that Louisiana DWI first-offense charges and LA DWI laws are severe. This will help you understand a DWI in Louisiana.

Louisiana DWI First Offense: Are you being held for a Louisiana DWI offense? Continue to find out what to expect. We will discuss first-offense charges and what to do if you have been arrested multiple times.

Louisiana: What you need to know about driving while intoxicated arrest

Can I drive?

After being arrested for DWI, the first thing you might be concerned about is, “Can I drive?”. You can legally drive for up to 30 days from the date of your arrest. You should have been issued a temporary license, which is a regular paper sheet. It would help if you always had that official notice of withdrawal of driving privileges with you.

Why did the officer take my driver’s license?

Many people wonder why officers might take their driver’s licenses when they pull them over for DWI. The short answer is that the officer took your driver’s license to protect yourself, and we know this is not the case in DWI cases.


1) You may not have consented to a breathalyzer testing

2) You are allowed to go over the legal limit

3) You’ve been charged with DWI

You could be facing Suspension of your driving privileges in either case. To fight the Suspension, you can request an Administrative Hearing, and you have 30 days to submit this request. As we have already mentioned, you can legally drive for up to 30 days. Important to note: A DWI lawyer, such as Ernest Bauer, Criminal Defense Attorney, will attend the hearing on your behalf. Hiring an attorney is brilliant; you won’t need to worry about the outcome and will be less stressed.

Your license will be automatically suspended unless you request an Administrative Hearing within the stipulated period. You could face a Driving under Suspension penalty if caught driving a vehicle during that period. This charge will result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, which could make your life even more complicated!


What is the First Offense of DWI in Louisiana?

Let’s look at some laws that can be used to charge someone with driving under the influence in Louisiana. This will help you no matter where you are located in LA.

How to determine BAC

BAC is the term used to describe how Law Enforcement determines the alcohol content in your body. There are many ways to determine a person’s BAC.

Some methods to determine BAC are:

1) Field sobriety testing

2) Blood samples

3) Breathalyzer testing

If you hold a Louisiana license, the Implied Consent law states that you have consented to these tests. Refusing to take a sobriety exam will result in your driving privileges being revoked in Louisiana.

But, the only way to get a DWI is through alcohol in the blood. An officer can arrest someone for DWI if they believe the defendant is impaired by alcohol or drugs. The presence of alcohol in the blood does not prove DWI; however, it is evidence that the prosecutor can use.

Louisiana has a blood alcohol limit.

For those 21 years and older, any amount above 0.08% is considered intoxication in Louisiana. For anyone younger than 21 years old, 0.02% is considered illegal.

Louisiana DWI First Offense: What Is the Bail?

A judge usually sets bail for DWI offense 1. The amount charged by a judge can vary depending on whether there is a scheduled bail. This needs to clarify. The amount of bail a person receives will depend on the parish where the DWI arrest occurred. For a DWI offense, bail can be set at around $2500. You can hire a bail bond agent for a lower amount to secure the bond. A helpful fact: Most bail bond agents will only take 10-12% of the bail amount, which covers his fees for setting up the whole amount.

DWI facts

Your first DUI offense will be considered a misdemeanor regardless of whether you’re charged with DWI in Louisiana or any other state. You will be punished for your first DWI with fines, community work, Suspension of your license, and possibly probation. Other factors, however, can alter the nature or level of your charges and result in harsher sentences or increased penalties. Below is a helpful infographic that outlines the DWI process for Louisiana. It will be a great help in explaining your first offense charges. Louisiana DWI Law Process For First-Time Offenders

Louisiana Penalties for DWI

First Offense DWI (Misdemeanor)

A Louisiana DWI offense is generally called a “Misdemeanor.” In Louisiana, a DWI, also known as an OUI or DUI, can result in a maximum six-month sentence in jail, and you could also face a $1000.00 fine. The crime can also impact your driver’s license and suspend your driving privileges.

Louisiana’s first DUI offense:

1) Fines $300 to $1,000 (750 to $1,000 for BAC 0.20 and more).

2) Jail Time: From 10 days to 6 Months in Jail

3) Driver’s License Suspension: 12-month driver’s license suspension (two years if BAC 0.20 and more).

4) A first-offender can also receive between 48 hours and six months imprisonment.

DWI penalties also include:

  • In some cases, offenders may spend more than six months in prison and could be fined $300-$1000. The offender may be released from jail after completing probation. The court can ask the offender not to drive a car if an ignition interlock is installed during this period.
  • Two years probation could be given to offenders, during which they might or may not be permitted to drive their cars.
  • The court might ask the offender for 30 hours of reeducation. The court may require the offender to attend these programs. These programs include driver improvement, substance abuse, or MADD victim program.
  • Community service is usually performed by offenders who are asked to take out garbage from the streets.

Special Penalties

1) If an offender’s BAC is higher than 0.15%, the offender will be required to serve 48 hours more in jail. This sentence cannot be suspended like the one above.

2) If the BAC level exceeds 0.2%, the offender will be sentenced to 48 hours of imprisonment and fined between $750 and $1,000. An interlock system must be installed in the vehicle for two years.

3) Many jail sentences cannot be suspended if it is discovered that a child-endangerment law was violated.

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Second Offense DWI (Misdemeanor).

The second offense, the same as the first Louisiana DWI offense, is a misdemeanor. It carries the following penalties:

1) A fine may be assessed for offenders ranging from $750 to more than $1,000.

2) Without Suspension, offenders would be required to spend 48 hours in prison. Unlike the first offense, the second offense can have its jail sentence suspended for various reasons. However, it cannot be broken for any reason.

3) The community service would include 30 days of work for the offender, including removing street garbage.

4) The offenders must be enrolled and participate in at least three reeducation programs.

5) Judges may request that offenders install an ignition interlock device for approximately six months. The judge may ask offenders to install an ignition interlock device for up to 6 months if their BAC is high.

Special Penalties:

1) If the BAC level for an offender is higher than 0.15%, the offender will have to spend more than 96 hours in jail.

2) If the BAC level is 0.2% or higher, the law would require the offender to spend 96 hours in jail and pay a $1,000 fine. In this case, the driver’s license would be suspended for 48 months (roughly four years). A vehicle ignition interlock would also need to be installed.

3) Several jail sentences may be required if the offender is charged with negligent injury or vehicular homicide during this time. The jail term can rise to more than five years if the second offense is added with either negligent injury or vehicular murder. The length of a jail sentence can vary depending on many factors, including the effect of vehicular homicide or negligent injury and a judge’s interpretation. A fine of more than $2,000 must also be paid. A second DWI offense would not result in the above charges. The sentence for this offense is six months, with no parole or Suspension.

4) The offender will have to spend time in jail if child endangerment laws are broken during this period.

Third Offense DWI (Felony).

A third driving under the influence case is generally referred to as a “felony.” The Louisiana DWI laws are more severe for felony DWI, and these situations are subject to the following penalties:

1) The court would ask the offender to pay a $2,000.0 fine.

2) The court may order offenders to spend one (1) to five (5) years in jail, with or without hard work. The court would require that offenders serve one year without probation or Suspension.

3) One option is to ask offenders to perform 30-day community service. This could include picking up garbage from the streets or other stressful community activities.

4) An evaluation may be necessary to determine if the person is addicted to alcohol.

5) The court would require them to follow through or participate in inpatient care for approximately four weeks. The court would require them to complete outpatient treatment for about twelve (12) months after that.

6) The court would require them to be on probation for suspended sentences or even be housed. The court would require the offender to wear a tracking device, curfew restrictions, and electronic monitoring if they are ordered to watch over home incarceration.

7) The laws of the State allow the prosecution to seize and sell the vehicle of an offender.

8) If a child endangerment statute is applied, the offender will have to spend time in jail without the possibility of the sentence being suspended for one year.

9) An ignition interlock device would be installed by law on every vehicle the offender drives.

DWI Complete Guide to Louisiana DWI Process Fourth Offense DWI (Felony).

The court considers all fourth cases of driving under the influence a felony. The following penalties have been imposed on offenders:

1) The fine would be $5,000, and the offender would have to pay it.

2) The court may order offenders to spend at least ten (10) and a maximum of thirty (30) years in jail.

3) The law may require offenders to perform 40 days of community service. This is a more complex and demanding task.

4) The two-year term of a sentence that a defendant must serve without Suspension or parole would be considered completed.

5) In some cases, offenders could be held for up to one year. They would also be closely monitored.

6) The vehicle used by the offender would then be forfeited.

7) Inpatient and outpatient treatment may be required for certain offenders. The treatment can last up to two years, but it is not uncommon for this.

8) Additional penalties may be imposed if the offender is charged with child endangerment violations.

What time do you have to spend in Louisiana jail for DWI?

A judge can sentence you to six months imprisonment for a first-offense DWI. The judge may suspend this sentence and place convicted defendants on probation for up to two years. Louisiana law states that the defendant cannot suspend 48 hours of this time, and this applies unless the defendant performs 32 hours of community work, of which half must be litter removal. The 6-month sentence for second-degree DWI is the same, and there is an additional 30-day minimum jail sentence, which is quite significant. If the defendant does 240 hours of community service, this jail sentence can be suspended. It is important to remember that the defendant must spend 48 hours in jail for a second-offense DWI offense in Louisiana.

Violations of the Child Endangerment Law

The Louisiana DWI laws regarding child harm clearly state that sentence suspension is impossible if the minor in the vehicle is between twelve (12) and 12 (12). If a little passenger were in the car at the time of the crime, the offender would need to finish their sentence.

What is the Cleansing Period for DUI

According to Louisiana DUI laws, the “DWI cleansing” period is generally a ten-year period that prohibits the use of DWI convictions that are more than ten years old against an offender. Important Fact The ten-year period begins at the time of the arrest for the current DWI and ends when the defendant has completed parole or probation on a previous DWI conviction.

Louisiana DWI First Offense: License Hearing Process

The hearing process works in Louisiana much like in other states. The judge would first review the evidence you submitted to the department. As the officer might be called to testify, they would also be present at the hearing. A skilled and experienced DWI lawyer will ensure your case is presented in the most favorable light.

After the evidence has been reviewed carefully by the hearing officer, the officer will determine if the evidence provided by the arrested officer is valid. Your driver’s license will be restored immediately if the Louisiana DWI defense lawyer is correct. After careful consideration by the hearing officers and the good evidence presented by the officer, you might be required to apply in Louisiana for a hardship license. The 30-day time limit will be met. A court will require offenders granted a hardship license to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. You, the offender, are responsible for establishing and maintaining the ignition interlock systems, and you will need to hire a professional to install the ignition interlock system.

Louisiana DWI and Commercial Driving

DWI law violations will result in you being arrested if you drive a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 or more. According to Louisiana DWI laws, commercial drivers do not have to have a blood alcohol level of 0.04 or more. The officer will issue an out-of-service order if your BAC level exceeds the legal percentage while driving commercially. This will prevent you from going for one day. commercial drivers Louisiana DWI

Your commercial driver’s license will be revoked for 12 months if it turns out that you have been convicted of driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.4% or higher. Your CDL, or commercial driving license, would be revoked if it was discovered that you transported hazardous materials.

Commercial drivers arrested for second-degree DWI would see their commercial driving license suspended for life, which means they can no longer drive commercial vehicles.

DWI under 21

Your license will be taken and suspended for 180 days if you are under 21 and have been charged in an underage DUI case. Your request will be suspended for 365 days if you are set in a Louisiana DWI case, and this is one year. If your blood alcohol level exceeds 0.08%, you will face the same penalties as those over 21 years old.

Driving and drinking underage | DWI Blood Test

The laws of the State stipulate that an officer of the law cannot draw blood to test for BAC unless they have a warrant. If they believe you have suffered severe injuries due to the DWI case, they may request your blood to be drawn for a chemical test. If you allow them to, blood can be taken. This means that a police officer cannot draw blood without a warrant, except in the case of bodily injury.

The Impact of a DWI conviction on you

We have already discussed the possible penalties for a Louisiana DWI offense. However, it is essential to remember that a DWI conviction could have severe consequences for your personal and professional lives. Your information and crime may be published in newspapers. Each week, Louisiana prisons release a list of inmates to newspapers. Your personal information could make it challenging to get the job you want. Ex-convicts are generally not desirable to be hired by employers. If you are the breadwinner in the family, things could get worse. Your image will be tarnished regardless of how long you spend in prison. Your chances of being promoted to your desired job are slim, even if your current position is retained.

Commercial drivers

If a second DWI case is filed against a commercial driver, they could lose their job. You could also spend many years in prison and be fined by the court. Depending on how many times you have broken the Louisiana DWI law,t you may be required to pay more than $5,000.


It will surprise you to learn that insurance companies can access criminal records if you plan on applying for coverage. It is a sure way to ruin your chances of getting a loan or insurance coverage. These are a few reasons you should make every effort to avoid spending time in jail, regardless of how long. To reduce your chances of being behind bars, you should hire a professional or well-trained Louisiana DWI defense lawyer to help you.

Louisiana DWI: Workplace Consequences

DWI, also known in some states as a DUI, can land you in serious trouble. You could face jail time, fines, or community service for operating a motor car while under the influence of drugs. A conviction for DWI can harm your professional record and affect your employment prospects. A DWI conviction may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how many offenses were committed. However, any number of DWI offenses can have a lasting impact on your life in many ways.

1) You may be fired upon being convicted of DWI in Louisiana. This is not a common practice in every company, but it can be a problem if you want to rise to the top of your company’s ranks. A DWI conviction for the CEO of a company would reflect poorly on the company.

2) License Suspension. In most states, your driver’s license will be suspended if you are convicted of a Louisiana DWI. Although many states allow driving to and from work without restrictions, this is only sometimes possible. You may find public transportation unreliable or available, which could cause significant workplace problems.

3) Loss of Car Insurance. Your insurance company might not cover someone with a DWI on their record. This could hurt your job, mainly if you work with heavy machinery. Even if your insurance policy isn’t terminated, it will undoubtedly become more costly. If you have company insurance, this can make it even more complex, and they may have to pay more or fire your insurance.

4) Loss or Suspension of a professional license: Louisiana DWI arrests must alert professional licensing agencies. These professional licenses are given to lawyers, doctors, and nurses. This license can be lost, and you will most likely get fired.

5) When applying for a job, most applications require you to disclose any arrests, and this will tarnish your application. You will likely be hired by someone who hasn’t had any arrests. Your record will be kept for many years if you are convicted of a DWI, depending on where it was issued.

What is the difference between DUI in Louisiana and DWI in Louisiana?

Louisiana has two types of DWI: Operating While Intoxicated and Driving While Intoxicated. These are Driving While Intoxicated or Operating While Intoxicated. The real name of the offense in Louisiana is Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated, which can be found under La RS14:98. DWI is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DWI offenses one and two are misdemeanors. DWI fourth offense, and any subsequent offenses, are felony offenses.

Does DUI ruin your life?

You don’t have to lose your life because of a DUI. You may be able to continue your life with minimal disruption if you hire a DWI attorney to fight your case, negotiate a fair deal, and make intelligent decisions. You won’t have a DUI conviction if your lawyer wins your claim, and you can still appeal the decision.

Does DUI affect credit score?

A DUI conviction can significantly impact your life. Still, it should not affect credit scores and will not appear on your credit report because confidence remains on your criminal record.

Louisiana DWI Expungement

A Louisiana DWI exoneration generally means that the offender has fulfilled all terms of their sentence. This could mean that the offender has paid all fines and waited for expungement for at least 24 months. Although most believe an expungement will erase their criminal record, security agencies, employers, or other agencies could still review the history to determine the crime. It is now known that employers and advanced educational institutions require proof of convictions from individuals. An employer or educational institution may request that an offender provide the expungement documents if they have been granted an expungement file.

What to do if you are convicted of DWI?

Be responsible for your fines and take your time. Attendance in class is vital, and complete your community service. After you have completed your sentence, reinstate the driver’s license. You can then use Lyft and Uber to get home if you’ve been drinking. You can apply for a Hardship License in the interim. This license will permit you to drive between certain places (e.g., school or work) within a set of limits. An Ignition Interlock device may be required if you have a Hardship License. Before your car can start, it will be tested for your BAC.


For a free initial phone consultation with an experienced Louisiana attorney, call me today at 504-610-5645, or fill out the contact form. I return all messages promptly.


1966 N Hwy 190 Suite A
Covington, LA 70433
(504) 610-5645
(844) 272-1106 (fax)

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